Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)


As you like it.
203

A sheep-coat, fenc'd about with Oliue-trees.
Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom
The ranke of Oziers, by the murmuring streame
2230Left on your right hand, brings you to the place:
But at this howre, the house doth keepe it selfe,
There's none within.
Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description,
2235Such garments, and such yeeres: the boy is faire,
Of femall fauour, and bestowes himselfe
Like a ripe sister: the woman low
And browner then her brother: are not you
The owner of the house I did enquire for?
2240Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.
Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth hee calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloudy napkin; are you he?
Ros. I am: what must we vnderstand by this?
2245Oli. Some of my shame, if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkercher was stain'd.
Cel. I pray you tell it.
Oli. When last the yong Orlando parted from you,
2250He left a promise to returne againe
Within an houre, and pacing through the Forrest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancie,
Loe vvhat befell: he threw his eye aside,
And marke vvhat obiect did present it selfe
2255Vnder an old Oake, whose bows were moss'd with age
And high top, bald with drie antiquitie:
A wretched ragged man, ore-growne with haire
Lay sleeping on his back; about his necke
A greene and guilded snake had wreath'd it selfe,
2260Who with her head, nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth: but sodainly
Seeing Orlando, it vnlink'd it selfe,
And with indented glides, did slip away
Into a bush, vnder which bushes shade
2265A Lyonnesse, with vdders all drawne drie,
Lay cowching head on ground, with catlike watch
When that the sleeping man should stirre; for 'tis
The royall disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing, that doth seeme as dead:
2270This seene, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
Cel. O I haue heard him speake of that same brother,
And he did render him the most vnnaturall
That liu'd amongst men.
2275Oli. And well he might so doe,
For well I know he was vnnaturall.
Ros. But to Orlando: did he leaue him there
Food to the suck'd and hungry Lyonnesse?
Oli. Twice did he turne his backe, and purpos'd so:
2280But kindnesse, nobler euer then reuenge,
And Nature stronger then his iust occasion,
Made him giue battell to the Lyonnesse:
Who quickly fell before him, in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.
2285Cel. Are you his brother?
Ros. Was't you he rescu'd?
Cel. Was't you that did so oft contriue to kill him?
Oli. 'Twas I: but 'tis not I: I doe not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conuersion
2290So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
Ros. But for the bloody napkin?
Oli. By and by:
When from the first to last betwixt vs two,
Teares our recountments had most kindely bath'd,
2295As how I came into that Desert place.
I briefe, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gaue me fresh aray, and entertainment,
Committing me vnto my brothers loue,
Who led me instantly vnto his Caue,
2300There stript himselfe, and heere vpon his arme
The Lyonnesse had torne some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cride in fainting vpon Rosalinde.
Briefe, I recouer'd him, bound vp his wound,
2305And after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, stranger as I am
To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise, and to giue this napkin
Died in this bloud, vnto the Shepheard youth,
2310That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why how now Ganimed, sweet Ganimed.
Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on bloud.
Cel. There is more in it; Cosen Ganimed.
Oli. Looke, he recouers.
2315Ros. I would I were at home.
Cel. Wee'll lead you thither:
I pray you will you take him by the arme.
Oli. Be of good cheere youth: you a man?
You lacke a mans heart.
2320Ros. I doe so, I confesse it:
Ah, sirra, a body would thinke this was well counterfei-
ted, I pray you tell your brother how well I counterfei-
ted: heigh-ho.
Oli. This was not counterfeit, there is too great te-
2325stimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of ear-
nest.
Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.
Oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man.
2330Ros. So I doe: but yfaith, I should haue beene a wo-
man by right.
Cel. Come, you looke paler and paler: pray you draw
homewards: good sir, goe with vs.
Oli. That will I: for I must beare answere backe
2335How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
Ros. I shall deuise something: but I pray you com-
mend my counterfeiting to him: will you goe?
Exeunt.



Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.



2340
Enter Clowne and Awdrie.

Clow. We shall finde a time Awdrie, patience gen-
tle Awdrie.
Awd. Faith the Priest was good enough, for all the
olde gentlemans saying.
2345Clow. A most wicked Sir Oliuer, Awdrie, a most vile
Mar-text. But Awdrie, there is a youth heere in the
Forrest layes claime to you.
Awd. I, I know who 'tis: he hath no interest in mee
in the world: here comes the man you meane.

2350
Enter William.
Clo. It is meat and drinke to me to see a Clowne, by
my